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Home » » Dining & Food » Tasting Notes with Jim Beauregard

September 30. 2014 11:18PM

Hard cider, and revisiting an original


A bit of this and a bit of that as fall takes hold:Angry Orchard has been around for a while now and this is a returning seasonal cider, made entirely from American culinary apples — in this case from Washington State.

Why Washington? Because the Pacific Northwest apple-growing region has similarities to apple growing regions of both France and Italy, where apples have been used for more than munching and apple pie for a very long time.


Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple Hard Cider, $7.99-$9.99 for the six pack, depending on location, 5% alcohol by volume. It’s a pale gold in the glass, much lighter than apple juice. The nose is white apple, and the palate follows the nose with white apple, a good dose of apple tartness, and cinnamon along the way to a pleasant and refreshing finish.

The makers recommend pairing with anything barbecued, macaroni and cheese, butternut squash soup, ham or chili. Pumpkin pie and ginger ice cream are recommended desserts. It’s also available in 16-ounce cans.

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The Granite YMCA’s annual Wine Tasting and Auction Benefit Event is being held on Wednesday, Oct. 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Armory, 700 Elm St., Manchester. You’ll be able to sample wine, beer and food from Italy, Germany, Australia, France, Mexico and the United States.

Advance tickets are available online at for $50. They’ll be $60 at the door.

Proceeds from this event helps fund the Granite YMCA’s annual campaign, Reach Out for Youth and Families, which provides scholarships to families in need for Y membership and participation in Y programs and camps.

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While I have written about a number of Sam Adams beers over the years (just last week, for example), it’s been a while since we’ve gone back to the original. Samuel Adams Boston Lager takes us back to the beginnings of one of the nation’s most famous breweries.

Brewer and founder Jim Koch tells the story in company literature: “Back in 1984, I took a leap of faith, left a good job, and followed in the footsteps of generations of Koch men before me, and brewed one of our family recipes in my kitchen. I named this new beer Samuel Adams Boston Lager after one of our country’s most notable revolutionaries.

“At the time, it was drastically different from other beers available to drinkers, which were mostly mass-produced, lighter beers and typically stale imports. I loved seeing people’s faces when they first tasted a full-flavored craft beer because it was so new. The term ‘craft beer’ didn’t even exist.”

The term certainly exists now, across the country, and Koch went on to provide a rich variety of seasonal brews for beer lovers, expanding palates and creating new and interesting expressions of traditional recipes. The current release, then, marks a 30-year anniversary. Here’s what it’s like now: Samuel Adams Boston Lager (4.9% ABV): Amber gold beer under a huge off-white frothy head with a light malt nose and just a hint of citrus. This lager has a predominantly malt profile on the palate, with bread, caramel, hints of nuttiness that blend and remain on the palate all the way through the finish.

Contact local beer and wine writer Jim Beauregard at

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